Latvian Ainars Bagatskis joined Maccabi Tel Aviv just one month ago, but his time at the club has been nothing short of a nightmare. The yellow-and-blue droped its biggest loss since 1976 to Galatasaray last night..
(photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)
Just when it seemed matters couldn’t get any worse, Maccabi Tel Aviv registered a defeat of historically embarrassing proportions on Tuesday night, losing 102-63 to Galatasaray in Istanbul.
The Turks entered the game with the joint-worst record in the Euroleague, but nevertheless completely outplayed the pitiful yellow-and-blue. Maccabi suffered its third heaviest defeat in club history and the biggest since it was trounced by 47 points at Real Madrid in January 1976.
Any illusion Maccabi had of finishing in the top eight and advancing to the playoffs was dashed with Tuesday’s humiliating loss, with the yellow-and-blue falling to a 6-13 record with its ninth defeat from the past 10 continental games, tied with Galatasaray.
While it is still mathematically alive, Tel Aviv has realistically only got pride to play for in its final 11 regular season games, starting with Thursday’s contest against Unics Kazan at Yad Eliyahu Arena.
“We looked bad at both ends of the floor. It was embarrassing,” said guard Andrew Goudelock, who led Maccabi with 22 points. “We need to forget about this because we have a game in two days.
Maybe that is a good thing because it allows us to focus on something else.
“We are embarrassed,” added the American.
“The guys are disappointed in themselves.
We should have at least been closer to them. They were already celebrating in the third quarter. It was a joke.”
Jon Diebler led five Galatasaray players in double figures with 21 points, with the hosts hitting 28-of-46 (60.9%) shots from two-point range and 12-of-20 attempts (60%) from three.
The game was still tight at the end of the first quarter, with Galatasaray holding a four-point gap (20-16). Maccabi was within just three points (40-37) with three minutes to play in the first half, but was outscored 12-2 in the remainder of the period, entering the break down by 13 points (52-39).
Galatasaray’s lead reached 20 points (72- 52) at the end of the third quarter and the Turks piled the misery on the visitors in the final 10 minutes.
“If we have an ounce of respect we have to show we know how to play basketball in the game against Kazan in two days time,” said Maccabi coach Ainars Bagatskis. “It would be silly of me to try and analyze what happened to us. I will do that only after I watch the game again.
“What is for certain is that we need to play better basketball,” he added in a candidate for the understatement of the year.